Project Phase 1 Workbooks Due

Bring your completed physical workbooks and any other associated design objects that you used to complete your project to class! We will use the class time to review each other’s work in a “show and tell” format. You do not need to prepare a formal presentation but you will be asked to show your book to the group and talk about the work you completed in Phase 1.  At the end of the class, we’ll swap projects for the next phase of work.

 

 

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Final Project Journal

As my final project for this class, I would like to investigate the relationship experienced in people, between music and their experience with the outside world. As music is such an important part of my life, undeniably affecting my day-to-day experience, I want to investigate if music affects other people’s lives, even if subconsciously.

My experiment is simple. I will find several volunteers, six to be exact, and take them to our campus here at CU Boulder. Then, I will give them a pair of Bluetooth headphones, as high quality as I have available to me, and instruct that particular participant to walk around the campus listening to a set of songs, or playlist, of their choice. Given that they are equipped with Bluetooth headphones, I will take the audio device paired to the headphones, and stay as far away from the participant as possible, while still maintaining Bluetooth connectivity.

Side note, my phone has the ability to output audio to two different devices simultaneously, allowing me to experience the same music experience as the participant, and keep the volume withing safe listening levels.

So this participant will wander through campus listening to their song of choice, while I creepily follow them and control their listening experience through my audio player. Unbeknownst to them, I will be adjusting their volume based on one specific condition: their proximity to others around them. CU Boulder’s campus provides a perfect setting for this experiment, as there exist strong fluctuations in people-per-space in different areas on campus. I figure this is a good condition to explore because from the participant’s perspective, they will have no idea why their volume would be fluctuating, and their reactions to the adjusting volume would be genuine.

The reason I chose six participants is due to the fact that I will split them up into two distinct groups, with three participants each. These two groups will be held identical in every way possible, except that for the first group I will decrease their volume as they approach others, and for the second group I will increase their volume as they approach others.

After about a 15 minute walk with each participant, I will emerge from whatever bush I happen to be hiding in, and touch base with that participant about their experience. I will ask them three questions:

  1. How was your walk? Did you enjoy walking around campus with music, as opposed to without?
  2. Is there any particular reason you followed the path that you did? Given the opportunity to do this again, would you follow the same path?
  3. Do you know why I was adjusting your volume? Why do you think your volume was changed during your walk?

Based on their responses, and the overall path of their walk, I can observe any trends between my volume adjustment, and their walking experience. Do they tend to walk in a straight line, or do they make sudden turns? Do they walk nearer/further from others around them, in order to boost/reduce their volume? Is there any correlation between time of volume adjustment, and changes in their walking path? Do their responses coincide/contradict their walking tendencies?

As far as documentation, I will be sure to record the volume of the music at every point during the study, including any and all volume adjustments I make. I will also document their path as they walk across the campus, taking careful note of areas of high and low people-density. I will also take careful note of their response, making clear their responses’ correlation with my own recorded data.

If my participants are anything like me and enjoy their music as loud as possible, I predict that 15 minutes is long enough for the participant to grasp the fact that I am changing their volume for a particular reason, and though they might not know the reason, they would try to head towards a higher volume level. This relationship could also be inverted, as some people do not enjoy loud volumes, and begin searching for a way to lower their volume. It is not unlikely, however, that some participants will actually understand that their volume is directly related to their proximity to others; I am interested in seeing how this realization affects their walking path.

This experiment provides a sufficient way to expose people’s hidden relationships with their music, and their conscious/subconscious decisions to take a certain path across campus. If I were to test this idea in the future, given the time to refine and improve it, I would see how music would affect a person’s performance in other tasks – including, but not limited to: cooking, cleaning, working out, relaxing, doing homework, driving, etc. Do people react a certain way to their music in any of these activities? Would a certain participant perform any differently at something, given their constantly altered music experience? Using data from this study, I hope to explore these avenues and find possible trends/tendencies across an even larger sample size of participants.

Time spent at this point: 2.5 hours

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Experiment Day!

The following documentation will be regarding any information taken the day of experimentation. Group A consists of those volunteers subject to higher volume as they approach others, while Group B consists of volunteers subject to lower volume as they approach others. All participants were randomly chosen to be in their respective groups.

Participant #1: Ethan Albro – Group A

Ethan is a student and a good friend of mine here at CU. I’ve chosen Ethan as a good candidate for this experiment as he is an avid music listener; rarely will I see him wandering campus without his earbuds. With this already constructed relationship involving music and his perception of life, his results should prove adequate insight into his experience.

Songs chosen:

1)

2)

3)

4)

5)

Interview:

-How was your walk?

-Is there any particular reason you followed the path that you did? Given the opportunity to do this again, would you follow the same path?

-Do you know why I was adjusting your volume? Why do you think your volume was changed during your walk?

Path Walked/Data Collected:

 

 

 

Participant #2: Abhi Sahariah – Group A

Abhi is also a student here at CU, but he was my first and only roommate freshman year. I’ve chosen Abhi as a good candidate from this experiment because he consistently astounds me with how loud he likes his music – whenever he listens to music, he turns it up as loud as possible, and self-identifies as a ‘volume fiend’. I am interested to see how this hunger for loud audio plays into this experiment and his reactions to the volume knob being in someone else’s hands.

Songs chosen:

1)

2)

3)

4)

5)

Interview:

-How was your walk?

-Is there any particular reason you followed the path that you did? Given the opportunity to do this again, would you follow the same path?

-Do you know why I was adjusting your volume? Why do you think your volume was changed during your walk?

Path Walked/Data Collected:

 

 

Participant #3: Laurel Bloszies- Group A

Laurel is also a student here at CU, but our friendship started in high school. Back in high school, she was known for having an extremely wide-spread music preference – she does not restrict her music tastes to a single genre or aesthetic. This makes her a good candidate for this experiment because the variety in the songs she chooses to listen to might play an additional role in her experience.

Songs chosen:

1)

2)

3)

4)

5)

Interview:

-How was your walk?

-Is there any particular reason you followed the path that you did? Given the opportunity to do this again, would you follow the same path?

-Do you know why I was adjusting your volume? Why do you think your volume was changed during your walk?

Path Walked/Data Collected:

 

 

Participant #4: Damian Njuguna – Group B

Damian is also a student here at CU, and is my current roommate. I’ve chosen Damian as a worthy candidate for this experiment because, unlike Abhi (Participant #2), Damian enjoys his music quiet. In his words, music should be “easy to listen to”, and music that is too loud or aggressive in any respect is not pleasurable to him. I am interested in seeing how this attribute plays into his results from this experiment, as well as how his results compare/contrast with Abhi’s.

Songs chosen:

1)

2)

3)

4)

5)

Interview:

-How was your walk?

-Is there any particular reason you followed the path that you did? Given the opportunity to do this again, would you follow the same path?

-Do you know why I was adjusting your volume? Why do you think your volume was changed during your walk?

Path Walked/Data Collected:

Participant #5: Chris Jillson – Group B

Chris is also a student here at CU, musician, and a self-proclaimed audiophile. This means that when he listens to music, he takes every aspect of the experience seriously. With his finely-tuned ears, he seems to be the most likely to be affected by any changes I make to his listening experience, which I find to be an interesting attribute to explore in this experiment.

Songs chosen:

1)

2)

3)

4)

5)

Interview:

-How was your walk?

-Is there any particular reason you followed the path that you did? Given the opportunity to do this again, would you follow the same path?

-Do you know why I was adjusting your volume? Why do you think your volume was changed during your walk?

Path Walked/Data Collected:

Participant #6: Kenzo Horiuchi – Group B

Kenzo is also a student here at CU, but his participation in this experiment came with one interesting condition – he requested to perform the ‘walk’ on a longboard. Given that both he and I are fairly competent at riding longboards, I agreed to conduct this particular trial on wheels with him. On longboards, the pace of the ‘walk’ will be increased dramatically, but with this increase in speed, I predict his path will be a lot more straightforward, featuring wider/fewer turns than the other five participants. This makes Kenzo a sort of a wildcard for this experiment, and hopefully this will lead to different, yet just as meaningful, tendencies in traversing the campus in response to the music.

Songs chosen:

1)

2)

3)

4)

5)

Interview:

-How was your walk?

-Is there any particular reason you followed the path that you did? Given the opportunity to do this again, would you follow the same path?

-Do you know why I was adjusting your volume? Why do you think your volume was changed during your walk?

Path Walked/Data Collected:

 

Time spent up to this point: 6.5 hours

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Final Project

Throughout the course, we studied design theory and methods that help us think through how technology shapes our relationships to people, politics, and the environment. Each reading was translated into practice (or an exercise) that was intended to reflect on the reading. Each practice highlighted different kinds of relationships and different ways of studying those relationships.

In your final project you are going to be asking a question and using the techniques we learned in class to investigate that question. Questions should concern technology and may take the form of:

  •       how does social media shape my relationship to my friends?
  •       how can design encourage participation in political debates?
  •       how to new fabrication technologies shape our relationships with food in the future?
  •       how can my headphones encourage awareness of my environment?

The final project will function like the game “telephone” for design research and will evolve over the last six weeks of class in three two-week phases. 

11/1 – 11/15: Phase 1
Each student will do the following: Come up with a question about the relationship of technology, culture, and/or the environment. Apply a design method or idea presented in the course to investigate that question. Document your process and findings in the form of artifacts and a written workbook. The written workbook should present your question, and use the relevant readings from class to articulate why you have chosen a particular method or idea to understand that question and what unique insights that method will help you gain about your question. At the end, offer three new questions based on your experience. Bring your workbook and artifacts to class on the Phase 1 due date (Wednesday, 11/15) and we will discuss each project.

11/16 – 11/29: Phase 2
Phase 2 will begin with students swapping workbooks and artifacts with each other. Read the workbook you receive and study the questions presented at the end. Select one of these questions and apply a design method or idea presented in the course to investigate that question. Document your process and findings in the form of artifacts (either adding to the original artifact or creating a new one) and a written workbook (by, adding to the end of the original workbook). Again, the written workbook should present the question you chose to investigate, and use the relevant readings from class to articulate why you have chosen a particular method to understand that question and what unique insights that method will help you gain about your question. At the end of your workbook additions, offer three new questions based on your experience. Bring the workbook and artifact(s) to class on the Phase 2 due date and we will discuss each project.

11/30 – 12/13: Phase 3
Phase 3 will begin by giving the workbook back to the person who originally started it. Then that student (the original author) will repeat step 2.

What should I produce in each project phase?

  1. a physical workbook describing and documenting the research you did during that phase
  2. (optional) a physical or digital artifact that emerged from your research

What should I Include in my physical workbook?

Your workbook will provide proof of the time you spent working, document as much as possible and include all documentation in the workbook. No detail is too small. Your workbook must contain the following:

  • The research question you are investigating
  • A written section describing your motivation – Why you were motivated to ask this particular question and what you expected to learn.
  • A written section describing your findings – What did you learn from your design process? If you interviewed other people, this is the place to describe those interviews and what you learned. Including quotes from your participants will help describe your findings.
  • A written section describing your research design – This is perhaps the most important section of your project! In this section, describe which readings from class you engaged to study your question and why that reading what interesting

    as well as appropriate for the question you are asking. You should include citations from the readings you are talking about in this section.

  • A written section describing your A written section describing you research process – the steps you took to investigate your research question as well as a description of how much time you spent on each step (to ensure full credit). This could be complimented by a visual schedule of your research.
  • three new research questions that emerged after this phase of research.
  • a works cited section that describes any literature you referenced.
  • images/media/graphics that depict the design objects you created in this research

Grading Rubric

The final project will comprise 30% of your course grade. I expect students to spend at least 6 hours per week working on their final project. Evidence of this work should be recorded in the documentation. While writing may vary by project, you should be able to write at least 1000 words about what you did, why you did it, and what you learned, in each phase.
At the end, each “project” will feature the work of two different students. Grades will be assigned based on the individual contributions of each student to each project with the following rubric:

(5%) did the student provide strong argument for their choice of methods or ideas to engage to explore their question?

(5%) did the student demonstrate their understandings of the strengths and limitations of their approach for investigating their question?

(5%) did they engage their approach in an appropriate and thoughtful way?

(5%) did the student demonstrate a deep engagement with the relevant reading in describing their process and reflections?

(5%) did the documentation effectively describe their process and findings?

Documentation Studies

To Bring on 11/3:
I am asking you to document your final project in the form of a physical workbook. Please bring whatever you are using to make this workbook to class on Wednesday.

Think about how you are documenting your project and what kind of visual assists are going to be part of your workbook (images, text, diagrams, storyboards, etc.). Create physical templates or placeholders of these materials and bring them to class.

Final project proposal

  1. The question that you would like to study

How has technology effected human relationships from what they used to be to what they are now to what the future might look like?

  1. The method/idea that you will engage to study that question

I will use speculative design to ask a series of questions that can lead to answers about future relationships.

  1. Your plan for the two weeks

study how people react with their technology and the emotions they feel towards it, what might happen if its taken away from someone. Mostly speaking with younger generations. For the first week I will speak to my peers and older, and study their relationships. The second week I will look at younger generations middle schoolers and see how they go about their relationships compared to older people.

  1. Short description of how you plan to document the work

ask a series of interview questions, challenge people to not have their technology on them so often and see how that can effect their moods. Researching the way technology can effect behavior and see how it is shaping the way younger generations relationships interact. Mostly interview and notes from observations based.

Final project phase 1

The question that you would like to study

 

Knitting or fiber crafts in general have always been deemed women’s crafts, in a derogatory sense. If this is true that means that women reclaiming knitting or other crafting in a positive sense is a powerful act of feminist retaliation. The question I want to explore more is: how can I combine knitting and technology to further or embolden knitting as an act of feminist retaliation? Specifically using sound as a kind of “highlighter.”

The method/idea that you will engage to study that question

I know that I want to use material studies since I am starting with the idea of knitting (yarn) or fibers in general. I like the idea of working backwards from here since this is all I really have right now. Additionally I would like to incorporate ideas from adversarial or speculative design since I think I would like to main “point” of my design to be more discussion provoking than actual function. I also really enjoyed the Verbeek reading and I like the concept of considering how design my script actions into users, I think it will be important to consider how knitting/crafting already does that and furthermore how my proposed design might do that as well.

Your plan for the two weeks

Focus my idea more. Focus in on the politics I’m addressing more and figure out how I feel/what I want to say about that. I think this means spending my first 6 hours doing a lot of reading and also brainstorming exercises to help me focus as well. My next week will be spent sketching and designing around the idea I formulate, and starting to hone in on exactly which materials (yarns or fabrics) I want to be using.

Short description of how you plan to document the work

I think I will keep physical samples of all of the different materials and prototypes I run into. I also think I want to try to make myself journal and sketch about the different readings I come across when researching knitting and making as I go. If I end up really focusing on the material studies route then I want my final work book to be really tactile and interactive.

Final Project Proposal

  1. The question that I would like to study is how does our interactions with our mobile devices change our perception of private and public space?
  2. The methods/ idea that I will engage to study this question is some research through design elements through a technology probe. I will also be referencing some of the ideas found in politics and design where we explored how we can expose the power implicitly in a technology.
  3. For the first week I will create a prototype of the probe I want to use in my study. I want to have a final prototype probe system by the middle of week one. Then during the second week have people interact with the probe and answer a series of questions about their feelings and thought while interacting with the probe.  During the first week I will also need to compile a list of questions for participants to answer during and after their interactions with the probe. The prototype will involve some type of way to project what’s on our phone screens into the real world.
  4. I plan to document the work through photographs, video, and written documentation. I will share the process of creating the probe along with how people interact with the probe. I will also be documenting the participants’ responses to the questions.

Harry Spetnagel Final Project Proposal

  1. The question that you would like to study— How to design technology that shapes main steam culture.
  2. The method/idea that you will engage to study that question— Materiality, Action and Perception (edited from class).
  3. Your plan for the two weeks— Conduct background research on present technologies that have changed culture, and investigate why they are successful, how they were designed, and who uses them. I also want to survey people as I learn about previous technologies to see if the old research is congruent with todays culture, and see how people interact with technology.
  4. Short description of how you plan to document the work— Take images and write what I’m thinking as I go along and upload it to my blog site.

Final Project Proposal

  1. The question I would like to study is: What attributes of music do we care about, and how does different music affect perception of the quality of the music.
  2. My idea is simple: I will create a simple form, possibly even a google form, that consists of 20-30 different song samples, spanning all genres and moods. Then, beneath the sample, it will have the option to rate that sample on how good it is – whatever good is to the user. Then, using user data, I would figure out what trends in the music contributes to the general like/dislike of that song. Is it a certain chord progression? BPM? Instruments/lack of instruments used?
  3. My plan for the next two weeks consists of collecting 30 different songs, preferably not very well known, but spanning as many genres as possible, and trim them all down into 20 second samples to use for the forum. All that’s left is to create the google form, which shouldn’t be too difficult.
  4. I will document the process of choosing the songs, and for what reasons each particular song was chosen. I will also document the process of obtaining those songs, and what 20 seconds of the song I want to include in the sample.

Project Proposal

I would like to study how face time affects your relationships within your family and friends. I will be using research through design to study this question by coming up with a set of probes to get information. Next week I plan to figure out situations that will result me in the answer I want, and design a probe accordingly. For instance, I might decide to specifically investigate the negative impacts of face time, why its so convenient, why one may use it over other forms of communication and come up with probes that prompt a response that will help me come to a final conclusion. The following week, I plan to start giving people the probes and observe their responses. I plan to document my work by taking a picture of the results I got from the probes, and using my time log to mark how long I spend on it every day.